Tips for recovery from a stroke on left side of brain
If you or a loved one recently suffered a left side stroke, it’s important to understand the recovery process.
To help you heal from a stroke on the left side of the brain, we created this ultimate guide.
It will help explain the various side effects that occur after a left side stroke.
Left Side Stroke Recovery
Before we dive in, it’s important to know that every stroke is different, therefore every stroke recovery will be different.
However, when it comes to left side stroke recovery, there are some side effects that consistently occur, and you should be aware of them.
Also, know that there’s hope for overcoming most left side stroke side effects. We list your treatment options below.
Let’s dig into this ultimate guide to left side stroke recovery.
1. A Stroke on Left Side of Brain Can Affect Right Side of Body
Your brain is divided into two hemispheres, with each half controlling the opposite side of your body.
Therefore, a left side stroke will impair your ability to control the right side of your body.
In order to regain movement in your affected side, you need to participate in physical therapy by practicing therapeutic exercises for stroke patients.
Rehab exercises are crucial because they help rewire the brain and improve mobility. This occurs through neuroplasticity, which is the mechanism that your brain uses to rewire itself.
Repeating your rehab exercises (or other therapeutic movements) over and over and over will help you regain movement in the right side of your body.
After a stroke on left side of brain, physical therapy can even help you overcome right side paralysis.
2. Issues with Thinking Analytically May Arise
Generally, a left side stroke will affect logic and reasoning. Specifically, a stroke on left side of brain can affect:
- Critical thinking
- Thinking in words
A left brain stroke can affect any of these areas. From what we have heard, left side stroke often affects your ability to think critically, speak, and write.
The best way to regain your abilities after a left side stroke is with massed practice.
Repetition helps rewire your brain and ingrain new neural pathways into your brain’s circuitry.
If you’re struggling with speaking, then practicing speech therapy exercises will help rewire the brain and improve that skill.
Similarly, if you’re struggling with critical thinking, then spending time practicing cognitive training exercises can help improve your logic and reasoning.
3. Language Difficulties (Aphasia) May Occur
The left hemisphere of your brain controls language.
So when your language center becomes damaged by a left side stroke, it can impair language-related abilities such as:
- Talking and listening
- Reading and writing
- Understanding speech and thinking of the right words
In order to recover from aphasia, you should practice speech therapy exercises.
This will help rewire the brain and improve your language after a left sided stroke.
4. Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia) May Occur
The language of the brain also controls other oral functions like swallowing, which can be impaired after a stroke on left side of brain.
This is a condition known as dysphagia: difficulty swallowing after stroke.
Because of this, some patients are required be on a feeding tube during the early stages of stroke recovery.
Just like language can be relearned, the ability to swallow can also be regained. Speech therapy exercises can help resolve this issue after a left side stroke.
But in this case, it’s also recommended to work with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in helping stroke patients recover.
5. Side Effects Will Vary from Other Left Side Stroke Survivors
Although each side of the brain is responsible for certain tasks, it’s important to understand that the brain works together as a whole. The right hemisphere contributes to left-brain functions and vice versa.
For example, although language is controlled by the language center in your left brain, your right hemisphere also contributes to some aspects of language.
Therefore, there is no cookie-cutter formula for left side stroke recovery vs right side stroke recovery.
Your stroke side effects will vary from other patients – even those who also suffered left-brain strokes.
It’s important not to compare your recovery to anyone else’s. Instead, focus on the next step in your unique journey.